Best Things to Do in Halifax

Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photographer: Dean Casavechia
Drawing up a list of the best things to do in Halifax will depend on the time of year you visit and how much time you have at your disposal.
If you just have a day or two you can probably fit in many of the prime attractions on an organized tour or a self-guided audio tour which can be downloaded to your smart phone. However, if you have more time to spend in this beautiful location, the following are a list of the best things to do.

1. Get a different perspective of Halifax from the water

The harbor ferry service runs two routes all day long. The scenic trip takes about 15 minutes and is very inexpensive. Be sure to bring the exact change needed (no credit cards are accepted here) – there are change machines in the terminal. You could also join a Harbor Hopper narrated tour.

Ferry looking back at Halifax Waterfront

Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photographer: Scott Munn

2. Join a guided walking tour

You can spend a happy 2 hours admiring all the historic architecture in the city on a guided walking tour. Your guide will tell you all about the history and culture of the city and explain why it is considered to be a brilliant place to live. The tour will take in most of the downtown attractions including the City Hall and Province House.

Halifax City Hall Behind the Scenes
Credit: HalifaxRegionalMunicipality via Youtube

3. Explore the city on 2 wheels

Halifax is an ideal city to explore by bike. There are many biking trails including the very scenic Chain of Lakes trail and there are several bike rental shops dotted around the city.

Virtual Bike Ride: The Chain Of Lakes Trail in Halifax
Credit: HalifaxTrails.ca

4. Pull on those hiking boots and find a trail

There are some really wonderful hiking trails located within 30 minutes drive of downtown Halifax. The Kearney Lake Trail System and the Bluff Wilderness Trail and Cole Harbor!s Salt Marsh Trail are three popular scenic options which will reward hikers with exceptional vistas.

Charlie’s Lake in Halifax’s Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes wilderness area, part of the extensive Kearney Lake trail system

Credit: HalifaxTrails.ca

5. Try an alternate form of 2-wheel transport at Segway Nova Scotia

Wheel transport at Segway Nova Scotia – you can join a fun Segway Tour at the Halifax Waterfront.

6. Take to the waters on a kayak adventure with East Coast Outfitters (ECO)

This ecotourism outfitter offers kayak, SUP and canoe excursions as well as more intensive Sea Kayak experiences.

7. Explore Georges Island, located in the middle of the harbor

You can reach the island by ferry from Cable Wharf.

Kayaking on the Halifax Waterfront near Georges Island National Historic Site
Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia / Photographer: Acorn Art & Photography

8. Grab a brew – or two?

Halifax is home to around 15 craft breweries, so there is no shortage of excellent artisan beers for enthusiasts to taste. You can even download an App to help you choose which breweries to visit. Find it at https://justbeerapp.com/. You could also take the time to go on a tour of the oldest brewery in Halifax at the historic Alexander Keith Brewery which originally opened in 1822.

Alexander Keith’s Brewery Tour in Halifax
Credit: Travelling Foodie

9. Visit a market

Halifax celebrates the wonderful flavors of Nova Scotia at no fewer than 11 Farmer’s Market dotted around the city. The two most popular markets are the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market (Saturdays and Sundays) and the Halifax Brewery Farmer’s Market (Saturdays)

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market

Credit: Nicole Bratt from Seattle, WA, USACC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Activities on the beach

The Halifax shoreline is home to some really awesome beaches. You can go for a walk, have a swim, go surfing or bring a picnic and make a day of it. To whet your appetite, here is a list of some of the best Halifax beaches:

10.1 Rainbow Haven Beach Provincial Park.

10.2 Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park.

Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park
Credit: Keshav mittal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10.3 Martinique Beach Provincial Park.

10.4 Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park.

10.5 Queensland Beach Provincial Park.

10.6 McNabs Island Provincial Park.

11. Discover local cuisine and Halifax specialties (like donair) on a guided foodie walking tour

There are several to choose from including Taste Halifax, Halifax Food Tours and Peggy!s Foodie Adventure. Try and do your tour right at the beginning of your visit so that you will know which restaurants to return to during your stay

Lobster Dinner

Credit: Tourism Nova Scotia

12. Winter Activities in (and around) Halifax

Halifax is also a great destination in winter. Wrap up warmly and join the locals as they enjoy a variety of fun winter activities.

Snowshoeing – most of Halifax!s hiking trails are open for snow shoeing in winter

Sledding at Halifax Citadel
Credit: Discover Halifax / Photographer: Acorn Art Photography

Sledding – everyone enjoys sledding on Citadel Hill.

Ice Skating – Join the locals as they have fun skating at Halifax Oval or on one of the near-by
frozen lakes

Sleigh Rides – you can take the whole family to enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride at Hatfield
Farm, just 20 minutes from downtown Halifax.

Ice Fishing – there are several lakes in the area where ice fishing is available.

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